2018 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
2018 Ferrari 488 Challenge
Rosso Corso with Black Interior
In 1992, Ferrari launched their first single-make racing series, the Ferrari Challenge. This series and the specially prepared cars were an immediate success with enthusiasts who not only enjoyed driving, but also sought out competitive racing as part of their ownership experience. Key to participation success was the availability of a distinctly built turn-key track car with on-site support crews, fuel, tires, and parts, all of which made the series very attractive to a wide range of drivers. Over the years since inception, this single-marque series has become increasingly popular with enthusiasts seeking a competitive factory racecar that can be effectively used while expending only moderate costs.
Beginning with the 348 and advancing to the 355 and 360 Modena, the F430 and 458 were big improvements both in platform and performance technology. Having developed these cars specifically to compete in international GT and prototype championships, over the years, many Ferrari Challenge cars have competed in IMSA events, Grand-Am, FIA World Endurance races, even at Le Mans. After ongoing developments and improvements derived from Ferraris expert racing programs vastly improved in the 458, the 488 arrived in 2015 brimming with advanced engineering, incorporating a stunning aerodynamically refined body design with improved air management features for cooling, engine ducting for high pressure air intake, body stability, and downforce.
The astonishingly quick 488 Challenge was outfitted with a 3.9 liter turbocharged V8 engine, putting out a remarkable 660 hp. The powerful and responsive engine vaulted the 488 to a new Fiorano lap time record (8 seconds quicker than a stock 488 and 1 second faster than the previous 458) via specialized engine mapping and shorter gear ratios, which maximized performance through variable torque management, specifically tapping into diagnostics for the turbocharged V8 engine. The F1 derived DCT paddle shift transmission and SSC (Side Slip Control) software, combined with traction control and E-Diff3, maximized corner exit speeds through positive traction in all dynamic driving situations. Drivers could further adjust their needs for braking, steering, and traction control through independent manual settings with onboard software detecting intensity of torque to the rear wheels.
By any measure the 488 Challenge is today a dominant force of technical sophistication, and yet, in the spirit of the original Challenge series, it is perfectly suited for a wide range of drivers and their varied uses. The ongoing track support and factory improvements as well as the availability of Corso Pilota (driver training) at various North American locations, makes the Ferrari 488 Challenge a fantastic car for any passionate driver seeking competition engagements at the highest levels.
This particular example is a beautifully maintained 2018 model with identical features to the 2019 488 Challenge. In addition to the factory specifications of this superlative race car, this example has been updated by Ferrari Scuderia with their 2020 EVO package. This $60,000.00+ upgrade is a factory authorized package specifically retrofittable to a 2018 or 2019 488 Challenge for customers who wish to upgrade their car to the ultimate Challenge specification. Currently, upgrading to the EVO package is only available beginning the spring of 2021, and, with a base cost of $375,000.00 for an enthusiast seeking a 2020 Challenge EVO, this particular example is all the more attractive, ready to go, built to 2020 specifications.
The EVO package is a substantial technical enhancement to the speed and performance of the already impressive 488 Challenge. Not only are the performance measures dramatically better than the Challenge, the EVO package delivers that added edge of confidence; one step closer to the near perfect racing machine. As Ferrari so eloquently states in their marketing literature, the new Evo kit takes the 488 and “maximizes the synergy between aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics.” With the EVO package, astonishing track performance is achieved generating higher downforce, balanced to the newly developed Pirelli tires. Driving feedback works with the aero balance between the axles, improving turn in and reducing understeer out of corners. The downforce over the newly designed EVO front has been increased allowing for balance ‘dialogues’ with the E-Diff3 and F1-TCS control systems based on the Side Slip Control (SSC), which also offers advanced dedicated settings offered only in the EVO package. Even the SSC yaw angle controls have been modified to the new levels of performance maximizing agility in cornering traction on exit.
In addition to the internal control enhancements offered with the EVO upgrade, a comprehensive redesign of the front of the car has increased aerodynamic efficiency by 30% compared to the 488 Challenge. With the EVO package, the length of the front overhang has been altered to boost overall downforce and optimize balance. The forward radiator intake profiles have been lengthened and, at the center of the bumper, a U-shaped intake feeds the front brakes, enhancing the 488 Challenge EVO’s more pronounced racing character. A large splitter with turning vanes at each end improves the control and direction of the airflow from the side vents. The bumper ends have been re-proportioned, reducing surface volume, improved with a second side flick to help manage high speed airflow. Overall the EVO package offers 50% more overall downforce than the 488 Challenge. Further EVO enhancements include new side mirror winglets with endplate diverters improving intercooler air flow. At the rear of the car, the FXX-K heritage becomes clear with two large vents which efficiently extract wheelarch airflow. Below the rear spoiler, a new air vent is set into the engine air outlet grille specifically to increase downforce. A new nolder (aero trim feature) is positioned on the rear wing, producing an increase in downforce without creating drag.
The 488 Challenge Evo also introduces a first for the Ferrari series; independent front and rear downforce adjustments to articulate the balance without having to change the ride height. The driver can select different configurations ranging from high downforce to low downforce before each race, depending on the circuit’s characteristics and weather conditions. Most notably, a 20% increase in downforce over the front axle is achieved when compared to the 488 Challenge. The new Pirelli tires 275/675-19 (front) and 315/705-19 (rear) were both lab and track tested specifically to increase overall performance, ensuring greater consistency in lap times during a long run session. The braking system includes a number of innovations to improve racing run time including a significant reduction in brake wear thanks to new front disc design and larger rear discs.
For the interior, the EVO package continues with substantial improvements including an F1 derived steering wheel, developed from the experience gained with the Le Mans winning FXX-K Evo and the 488 GTE. The steering wheel, now with integrated paddle shift, significantly improves driver ergonomics allowing hands to remain in optimal driving position with improved visibility and control of the car’s systems. A new ABS management system is incorporated in the manettino (adjustable dial). The driver can select from any of four different modes, two dry and two wet, any of which improve both performance and stability. A new rear camera derived from the 488 GTE has been added, which considerably improves rear visibility.
Today with just 5,500 miles showing and a recently rebuilt gearbox, the cosmetic condition is very impressive overall with a glossy exterior finish showing very minor areas of use but otherwise exceptional finishes throughout including the updated EVO front and rear bumper caps which here are very nicely finished. A few minor paint chips and light scratches are evident in just a few areas, typical of general use. The dramatic sloping windshield displays only mild evidence of use, having been thoughtfully protected by peel-off clear film to improve longevity of the Lexan surface. The side and rear clear pieces are in very good to excellent condition. The lighting, and lenses are in excellent condition along with the satin black and carbon fiber blades, intake ducting, and front tip canards. All body panels display very good fit throughout with excellent door and engine lid fit. Of particular note is the adjustable rear wing which substantially improves downforce and stability at high speeds. The Rotiform central hub wheels are in excellent condition with some bead edge chaffing noted on two wheels. The newly developed Pirelli P Zero tires finish off the purposeful exterior giving the car a commanding stance and amazing corner grip, enhanced by the EVO package.
The interior of the car is all business with the power and performance impression of a jet fighter cockpit and all the improvements of the EVO package upgrade. The dashboard and supporting central pod are in excellent condition, as are the switches, control surfaces, and F1 inspired steering wheel also featuring EVO upgraded selection controls. Sitting inside the car, everything is very well defined and immediately in view, within reach, and obviously well-resolved from decades of F1 racing experience. Overall the car presents with better than track-appropriate care, retaining the correct factory safety features including five-point seat harnesses for both driver and passenger, roll bar, safety net mesh, and fire suppression system. The seats are in excellent condition both for driver and the fortunate passenger who will certainly have the ride of his/her life when delightedly invited to track day.
Under the hood, the innovative turbocharged V8 displays excellent castings, correct factory housings and original equipment throughout. The condition of the engine compartment is excellent having been properly cleaned and tended to, in keeping with the exterior condition. The underside of the car shows only modest signs of track use with factory aerodynamically trimmed pans still in place and only expected wear marks in the specified jacking areas. There is no visual evidence of structural compromise or damage present in any of the major components or suspension attachment points. This 488 Challenge EVO comes with a spare set of wheels, a radio, and an XL sized passenger seat.
With fantastic factory support and trackside participation, the Ferrari Challenge series cars are among the finest available for enthusiasts seeking an exceptionally capable track car. Quite simply the most technologically sophisticated Challenge car ever developed, this is the ultimate competition implement, built with premier circuit performance in mind, handily achieving win after win even in the hands of even modestly experienced enthusiasts. Already superlative in performance this EVO equipped 488 Ferrari Challenge is eligible for 2020 Challenge series or as the ideal car to dominate private track day events.
Please note that this car is specifically built for closed circuit competition and is sold on Bill of Sale.
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